Today it costs 15 times what it did just decades ago, yet its still the most popular soft drink in the world.
And with Coca-Cola this year marking the 125th anniversary of its creation by Columbus native John Pemberton, the companys historian came here last week to talk about all that Columbus has contributed to Coke.
It was an epic tale full of fizz and zest, and whether it began here in Columbus or in Atlanta was not at issue.
Phil Mooney, Coca-Colas director of heritage communications, gave Columbus the credit, saying Coke was created here and carried to Atlanta, from whence it spread around the world, today sold in every country except Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar.
Coke is so universal few can imagine how novel it was when Pemberton introduced it as a fountain drink in Atlanta on May 8, 1886.
It was an era when most drinks were based on fruit or herb formulas: orange, raspberry, root beer, sarsparilla. Coca-Cola was unique, and certain aspects of it were set from the beginning.
Some believe Pemberton developed the formula here in Columbus before he moved to Atlanta after the Civil War.
The original brand has endured as well: Pemberton had a bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, who wrote the drinks name in the flowing script The Coca-Cola Company still considers its signature.
Read the complete story at ledger-enquirer.com